Mangochi — Timveni Child and Youth Media Project Friday said the youth in Mangochi were being sidelined in most critical issues such as development, education, and child rights.
The Project's Coordinator, Ralph Nyirenda made the observation during a training held in Mangochi Boma which was aimed at sharing information with media practitioners and engaging them in a project called Youth Out Loud that Timveni Child and Youth Media is implementing in the district.
He said in 2016 Timveni Child and Youth Media conducted an assessment on the involvement of the youth in crucial issues and that the report on the study revealed the glaring gap.
"To fill the gap we engaged about 450 youths from secondary schools across the district using our project and we empowered them to identify issues affecting them in their day to day lives in their respective communities and use the media to report on the issues," Nyirenda observed.
He added: "Our main goal is to see the youth from Mangochi being conversant and aware of their rights and responsibilities and then advocate for their fellow young people's participation in any developmental, educational and child rights issues."
According to Nyirenda, the project is a continuation of the Joint Programme on Girls Education (JPGE) that UNICEF and Timveni are implementing in Mangochi especially in Nkumba and Mdinde zones.
He explained that the Timveni Child and Youth Media Project had created a platform where young people could use to reach out to various stakeholders for action on challenges the youth face.
One of the 450 students Timveni Child and Youth Media Project trained in media skills recently hailed the Youth All Out project saying following the training she had managed to share a number of issues affecting the youth in her community.
"I have always wanted to become a journalist one day to report on issues that affect the youth especially here in Mangochi and with the training that we had with Timveni in September, I am able to share issues through our community radios and other media outlets," Mphatso Chimfuti, 15, from Mangochi Secondary School naarrated.
The 450 girls and boys that Timveni empowered in September to stand up and speak out on critical issues came from five secondary schools namely; St. Monica, Mangochi, Monkey Bay, Majuni and Namwera.